Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Urine control. (The pee story.)

You know how once you haven't done something for a long time, all you can remember are the good parts? Nostalgia takes over with her rosy glow and obliterates anything that's unsavory? Yeah. Let's talk about unsavory. Cleaning up other people's kids' pee. Monday night at the dance studio I had a run in with a peeing preschooler the likes of which I have never seen before.

I was already grumpy. When I dropped off the kids, Mom justifiably asked me "what's wrong with you?" I was annoyed that I had to take the kids somewhere when all I wanted to do was snuggle under a blanket and watch that one episode of Spongebob for the 800th time. I missed them and I was tired, but c'est la vie. We need money. So I dropped off the monkeys and made my way over to the studio, trying to snap myself out of the bad mood.

I'm not even teaching "the babies" as they're known in dance teacher land. I like their smallness, but there's a host of other issues that come with them, like the aforementioned pee and their uncanny ability to stop a class dead in its tracks with salacious, juicy family secrets that they shouldn't be sharing. "Grandma says Daddy's a deadbeat!" (Yeah, that happened.)

So I got to the studio, put on my makeup in the car, and headed in to use the bathroom. I'm not sure how this has changed since my days as a full-on ballet teacher slash dance student in the 90's, but the ONE bathroom has become the place for kids to change for class. Dude, that used to be so off limits. That's why there's a dressing room. But somehow the one bathroom is always held up from 4:50-5:00 with girls scrambling to get into their tights and such. Suck it up, homegirl, and go change in the dressing room. Unfortunately "dressing room" has become synonymous with "hangout area," but whatevs.

The bathroom was full when I got in so I slipped into the office, de-Ugged my feet, and fixed my hair. As I headed out into the hall, I saw a little girl of probably 6 years old and her sister who was probably 13, both standing just outside the bathroom. I asked them if someone was in there. I got a blank stare back from both; I think maybe there was a language barrier? I decided just to knock on the door myself. Someone was there. In that same instant I looked over at the little girl to see that she was still mid-pee, clutching herself with her hands, trying to make it stop.

Listen. I'm a mom. Kids pee. It doesn't make me freak out. I didn't really care that it happened. It wasn't the poor kid's fault that someone was holed up in the bathroom for 20 minutes trying to put on her stupid tights. But once the floodgates were opened (and let me tell you, this kid must have just finished a 32-ouncer of grape juice), the sister (who totally saw that the kid was peeing, by the way) grabbed her hand, and led her down the hall away from the bathroom. AWAY, I TELL YOU! What? Let's put our thinking caps on here. Your sister is peeing. Should you a) keep her in one place to minimize damage, b) try desperately to get into the bathroom, or c) walk her in the opposite direction, creating a "mile of pee" situation? She totally chose C. Dude. You never choose C.

The hallway outside the bathroom? A lovely blue Berber carpet. Not exactly ideal for pee cleanup situations, though. There was a trail of pee about 20 feet long soaking into the carpet. The fact that she'd walked this kid down the hall meant it went from being a little problem to a big fat mess and annoyance. I looked at the girl, then to her sister who gave me this embarrassed laugh. She just stood there like my Freshmen do when I ask them what they're going to do about the fact that they didn't do their homework. Not my problem, her face said. Blink, blink went her eyes. I commenced Mom Mode, and I shot over to the other studio to ask if there was carpet cleanser or paper towels nearby, since the bathroom was STILL occupied. Heaven help us. I was concerned at that point about the stink. I mean, this was an amount of pee tantamount to that of a great Dane. I don't think this kid went to the bathroom all day before she watered the carpet in the hall. It was going to be smelly if it didn't come up soon. There's nothing I want to be known for that includes "that one teacher who let the kid pee stink up the studio." It's my uneducated guess that pee smell is bad for business.

My friend Christina told me where to find the towels, and I walked out ready to hand them to the sister. If this had been my kid, I'd be embarrassed, but I'd look at it like MY PROBLEM. Right? Can I get an AMEN? I mean you can't go around expecting other people to clean up your kids barf, pee, or poop. I thought that was just one of those parenting rules. Remember that one? From the great Bodily Fluids Treaty at Versailles in 1802? Yeah. You just take care of your own and you take care of what they do. It's a health issue. It's also NASTY.

I walked out with an armful of paper towels like some kind of Paper Goods Claus, and instead of being met by a thankful face, the sister looked RIGHT PAST ME like she didn't know me. I was so pissed. I was totally giving her the "don't think I didn't see you lock eyes with me over that pee in the hallway" look. I think the little girl was still peeing. No joke. It was like the Trevi Fountain. Meanwhile, like fifteen people are standing around watching this unfold. At that moment the mom came inside from the parking lot, grabbed them both, and they left. They left me holding the paper towels, and they left a hall full of PEE. They basically left me holding the pee, you know? The cheese, standing alone, in a hall of URINE. So gross, and so rude.

Trying to mop up this pee was about like trying to stop a levee break with a cotton ball. There just wasn't enough absorbent material to cover it. The best I could manage was some shoddy, sporadic absorbing where it was the worst. Meanwhile the class before mine let out and I had to guide traffic through the pee-free zone. At that point Christina's class let out too, and we both just stood there looking at the pee in disbelief. It was like the hallway had been doused with a garden hose. I just couldn't believe they didn't try to help clean it at all.

I found out at the end of the night that this family had the gall to take the daughter home, change her, and bring her back to class that same night. They never said anything to anyone about it. I can't believe people.

As a teenager, I remember learning that pee cleanup was part of my job as dance teacher. I think that was where I got my firsthand experience at being a mom. Nobody else was going to come to my rescue and do the gross job. If a kid peed on the floor in the studio on my watch? It was all on me. I remember gagging as I soaked it up, then scrubbing my hands raw afterward. It was a rare thing, but it happened. That was different, though. I was the adult in charge. This girl had a sister and a parent and nobody wanted to go out of their way to take care of their sh*t. It's so easy for people to make it someone else's problem. Pee cleanup in the dance studio was gross, but manageable. Nothing like this hallway thing though. Ew. This was just out of control.

Remember. Urine control, people. You're. In. Control.


  1. EW...

    I'm not a mom and I think the pee/poop situation is the worst. I worked with a day school last summer and I always held my breath when a kid started hopping around I had to grab them and run down the hall before the floodgates opened.


    And I'm thinking about Montessori certification...

  2. Oh no! That's definitely not fun!

  3. I can't believe the mom had the gall to bring her daughter back the same night.
    I would have been absolutely mortified as the mom of the daughter that peed everywhere and the other daughter who made the damage 100 x worse.
    Ah oh well.
    Are you running the 10k Run to Feed the Hungry on Thurs?

  4. @Julia--not sure. I have been stalling on registration because I haven't been able to run in about a month. I might just skip it this year. Indecisive. :/

  5. Girl! The many joys of being a dance teacher!!! I definitely don't miss that.....I mean teaching the babies is hard enough, but cleaning after their everything is just the old, moldy cherry on the top of a nasty 12 day old sundae! Ugh...I feel your pain and frustration. If I had seen that teenager I would have first kicked her in the face and then thrust some of the paper towels into her hands and get her to help me!!! Not her problem?? I don't think so!!! And also...the kid that was changing in the dressing room should have helped too after all they were the one that was ultimately causing the flood! Maybe Mrs. C and Christina need to put their feet down, make a sign and laminate it that says "No more changing in the bathroom, this is why we have a dressing room...it's for dressing. Thanks!" I mean after you've been in a dressing room for several years with the always naked Michelle, you just kind of get used to nakedness and don't worry about it anymore.

    Sorry about the pee!


  6. "Ewwwwww" is really all I can say to that.

  7. I read this post last night and in the middle of commenting the battery died on my sister's laptop. It's even more appropriate that I leave a comment today though, because I thought of you this afternoon as I mopped up my sister's bullmastiff's PISS, shortly after I picked up its shit –– off the living room floor.

    Dogs and kids, man. So cute and SO DISGUSTING at the same time.

  8. Yes, gross. Completely. To all of you who aren't parents, I do have this little tidbit to share--when it's your kid, it's just different. So let's say that had been Hank's pee... still kinda gross, but not the same. Just FYI. LOL.